Erasmo reflects on Day 7

Hey! My name is Erasmo and this is my reflection of today and everything that happened.

It all started with a wake up call from Josh. Of course I did not get up the first time but eventually I got up. I got up and got my stuff so I could brush my teeth and get dressed. After that I helped my tent members take down our tent. Since it’s four of us we had the largest tent. We packed it in the van and then got some breakfast. I had some cereal with raisins and cranberries. Every one got ready and ate their breakfast, and then we started our ride.

It was my turn to lead and I was told that it was a 47-mile ride. Why did I get such a long ride? I have no idea but I was up for the challenge. Chuck supplied me with the map and explained the route. We left the camp it felt good to be the person in the front.  I usually end up in the front eventually because everyone slows down going up hills and I speed up but today I was in the front from the beginning and I had everyone following me. With in the first 10 miles there were about 15 hills. I had to wait at the top of almost all of them. To me hills are like motivation because I know if I make it up the hill fast then I get to rest for a while and recover then just keep on peddling and make it to my destination faster.

By the time we ate lunch, we were all tired and ready to quit but of course we had to finish.  We pushed and pushed our self straight to the finish. Today was one of the hottest days yet. The road was sizzling at points and we were all sweating bullets. We separated throughout the ride because we all ride at different paces and we all deal with the heat in different ways. Some of us like to ride a little slower with more breaks to recover some energy, while some like to ride fast and take less breaks so we can reach our destination and relax for the day. I personally like to waist as little time as possible and finish up as fast as our group can. We finally got to the campground and we were all relieved that we were done with the day.

We rested for a while then we set up our tents and took showers. The shower was possibly the best part of the day because it cooled us down and helped us relax. We made our way to the Oberlin Heritage Center. I learned about how the people of Oberlin started a university that allowed African Americans to attend.  We also learned how the town of Oberlin helped slaves hide from their slave masters and escape to the north.   The entire town was an Underground Railroad station because it was started as a Christian utopia and everyone was against slavery.  Also, because of the many African Americans at the university, slaves could blend in and hide easily.   Our tour guide told us a story about a girl who was taken from Africa and was on the Amistad, which was a famous ship because the slaves revolted and took it over.  She was given a scholarship to study at Oberlin College and returned to Africa to be a teacher.  Throughout this trip I learned so much about the Underground Railroad and its connection to the state of Ohio.

I participated in the Bronx Lab cycling program after school for three years but I never wanted to come on the Ohio trip, even when all my friends came last year.  I just didn’t want to bite off   more then I could chew. I never thought I was prepared for it or that I could handle it. This year I decided to do it because I wanted to participate in the trip at least once before I graduate and I thought it might be interesting to learn a little about the Underground Railroad and slavery.  I am glad I finally came.  There have been some annoying things like being older than a lot of the people and having to do so many chores, but overall it has been a good experience and I think I learned some things about being a leader and I am definitely in better shape.


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